Updated: Aug 30, 2022
First Off - What is a First Look?
A First Look in weddings is when is when you and your significant other see each other for the first time. In the past, this traditionally happens when the bride is walking down the aisle; this would be when the groom sees her for the first time. However, more recently couples have elected to do a first look as an intimate moment with just themselves and their photographer before the ceremony for a number of reasons.
Some popular reasons to do a first look are:
Enjoy a quiet, intimate moment with each other.
You and your significant other will likely be very busy during your wedding day. People say the day goes by in the blink of an eye, and honestly (I can say from experience now!) it is the truth. Guests will want to visit with you, you'll be taking pictures, and honestly you and your significant other really won't get much alone time during the day. A first look can be a great time to share a tender moment with each other before the rest of the festivities start. When first seeing each other during the ceremony, there won't be much time to talk before the ceremony starts, and you'll likely move right into family photos and other photography right after.
2. Opportunity for a unique Photo-Op.
Many photographers, whether they have a second shooter or not, do not have trouble capturing both the bride walking down the aisle, as well as the groom's expression when he first see's her. However, during a first look, you are much more likely to get to capture true emotion from both sides seeing each other for the first time, and it is a great excuse to get creative with a location. Your first look can take place anywhere around the ceremony area, or place you are getting ready. If you don't want any guests to see you before the ceremony though, just be careful to work with your photographer and pick a location out of sight to others.
3) Allow for a more flexible wedding day timeline.
Another reason people choose to do a first look is so they can do bridal party pictures, and bridal portraits with each other before the ceremony. This allows the couple to enjoy their cocktail hour and visit with guest after the ceremony instead of doing all the traditional photos afterword. These photos are still taken, but doing them before the ceremony allows for more flexibility in your wedding day timeline, especially if your ceremony is starting later in the afternoon or evening.
"What if I don't want to do a first look?" No Problem!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with not doing a first look. In fact, 90% of the weddings I photograph do not do a first look, but opt to see each other for the first time at the ceremony. There is still plenty of time for photographs of everyone afterword, and this way everyone, including the guests, see the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle.
One fun alternatives to a first look is a first touch. This way you can still talk to your significant other before the ceremony, in person, without seeing them. Your photographer can help you find a place to hold hands around the corner of a building or on opposite sides of a door. (This is what we did at my wedding!)
Another popular option is for the bride to do a first look with her father. (The groom could also do one with his mother if he wishes!) This can be a beautiful and private moment right before dad walks his daughter down the aisle.
Whatever you choose to do in terms of a first look, make sure you include your photographer on your thoughts for the day. They will definitely be able to help with timeline planning and logistics. Mostly importantly, enjoy your day with the love of your life, relax and enjoy every moment, and HAVE FUN! The day truly does come and go in a blink of an eye, but that's why it's so important to have a great photographer there to capture all the important moments!
Contact us today with any wedding questions! Happy Planning!
*Disclaimer: For simplicities sake I often refer to couples as bride and groom, but Everlasting Images Photography By Sam does not discriminate and would love to be a part of your LGBT wedding. We love to photograph Bride + Bride, and Groom + Groom Weddings! Contact us today for more information and a custom quote!